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Welsh charities issue urgent call for action on damaging effects of air pollution

Credit: PA

Charities from across Wales have issued an urgent call for action to be taken on air pollution.

The call comes on Clean Air Day, a day marked to highlight issues surrounding pollution.

The Healthy Air Cymru coalition of charities has said pollution can have a dramatic effect on the health of vulnerable people and those with lung and heart conditions.

They want the Welsh Government to introduce a Clean Air Fund for councils who regularly exceed pollution levels.

As a coalition (Healthy Air Cymru) we are continuing to call on Welsh Government for a comprehensive cross-governmental air quality strategy, a Clean Air Fund that provides targeted funding for those councils with consistent exceedances or elevated levels of air pollution, funding be given to councils to boost pollution monitoring outside schools and health centres/hospitals so the public have the information needed to protect their health, and a Clean Air Act.

– Joseph Carter, Chair of Healthy Air Cymru and Head of Devolved Nations, British Lung Foundation

In a debate in the Senedd yesterday, there was cross party support for a motion calling on the Welsh Government to do more to tackle air pollution.

The Welsh Government say they are putting a range of measures in place to improve air quality.

We are already taking action across Government to tackle air quality, which address the points raised by Healthy Air Cymru. We have already introduced a number of measures to do this, including a new £20 million Air Quality Fund, plans for Clean Air Zones and we will be publishing our own Clean Air Plan for consultation in early 2019.

We are also putting a range of measures in place to improve air quality in areas where targets are not currently being met. Our draft plan to reduce nitrogen dioxide levels sets out the actions we are taking to comply with air quality limits in the shortest time possible.

The Welsh Government will set out its plans to help achieve the UK's future emission reduction commitments for five important air pollutants, including ammonia, within the UK National Air Pollution Control Programme which will be published before 1 April 2019

– Welsh Government Spokesperson